A year ago around June, Olympian Amy Van Dyken-Rouen got involved in an ATV accident that injured her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. According to The Denver Post, despite the seriousness of her injury, she remained upbeat and totally engaged with her visitors and online supporters. Experts say that this positive attitude can have a positive impact not only for her emotional recovery, but for her physical healing as well.
Though negative thoughts are normal after a debilitating injury such as Dyken-Rouen’s, the idea of the healing properties of positivity remains strong. In The Denver Post article, Dan Gottlieb, a Philadelphia-based psychologist, claims that plenty of studies show that the right attitude can help patients who undergo surgery experience less pain and recover more quickly afterwards. “Attitude is everything,” he said.
Power of Positive Thinking in Patients
A patient’s attitude and emotional state have an impact on his or her recovery from an injury. A positive mind is a powerful ally to have during such trying times, so it will really help your plight if you can condition yourself into thinking that yes, your injury is something that you can overcome completely. You, along with your orthopedic surgeons and other caregivers, play an important role in making sure your recovery is quick, absolute, and free of unnecessary complications.
Pain can prolong the recovery process, so it’s imperative that you notify a medical professional immediately as soon as you feel any severe discomfort after surgery. This will help your doctors determine how much relief you have obtained from medication and other pain management treatments. If pain persists after you go home, call your surgeon.
Proper Wound Care
Orthopedic surgery patients need to understand how to properly care for their surgical wound. Instructions will vary depending on the procedure you underwent. Your physician or nurse will teach you proper wound care while you’re in the hospital and when you’re recuperating at home.
If your surgical procedure made use of sedation or anesthesia, coughing and deep breathing can help clear your lungs and prevent pneumonia. Continue with these exercises up to a few weeks into your recovery period.
Don’t Forget Your Follow-Up Visits
Your orthopedic surgeon will inform you when to come back for a follow-up visit after your surgery to monitor your progress. Be sure to stick to your schedule and be ready to discuss your continuing care needs, along with questions about any symptoms you may be experiencing—and above all else, don’t forget to stay positive during your recovery process.
Attitude can play significant role in recovery from paralyzing injury, The Denver Post, June 6, 2014
Patient involvement in enhanced recovery, Nursing Times